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How to find the right innovation management software

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Find the Right Innovation Management Software for your Company 

with our 6 Helpful Criteria

Great, your boss has finally agreed to a new and fancy software that will support your innovation management process? Then let us help you find the right one! In this blog post, we are showing you the steps before buying a new application and we are also sharing tips on which criteria you should focus on while making your decision. 


Collect information about your needs for the new innovation management solution

First of all it is important to know the exact needs of your company or organization. 

Do you need a tool to scout the latest startups of your industry? Or do you need an internal idea management tool, where your employees can submit new ideas? Or are you looking for a more complex platform to manage the whole innovation process?

Should it be an open tool that can be used as a collaboration tool by different stakeholders, like your innovation department, startups, universities, industrial experts, etc.? Or do you prefer an internal tool, just for your small team? 

Take notes and speak to your colleagues, what do they expect from the new software? Figure out the crucial features that are needed by the team. Involve the actual users of the tool in the decision making process to avoid disappointments and waste of money on the wrong tool.


Set a Deadline and Check the Technical Requirements

Everyone knows that you work more efficiently when you have a deadline, where everything has to be completed. This gives a sense of urgency to the task and prevents it to be deleted or forgotten in favor of other todos. So, think about a future date where you want to use the new innovation management software system and when the implementation process has to be completed. 

Take into consideration that the implementation process takes longer when you need to implement it on your internal servers as an on premise solution. So, check with your IT department which requirements there are so that the application runs smoothly on your devices. And above all, to avoid critical policy problems.


Get a Selected List of Suitable Innovation Management Software

After you know the needs of your team and you have set a realistic deadline for the project, it’s time to find suitable solutions. Look at the tools’ homepages and compare the different solutions on review sites like Gartner or TrustRadius. 

Maybe you have friends or colleagues that already use an innovation management tool in their company that they would recommend.

After you have checked all the information you could find about potential tools it's time to start selecting. Best way is to request a demo or even better go for a free trial to get a closer look & feel of the applications.


The Following Criteria will Help you Choose the Right Innovation Management Software

Now that you have a list of selected interesting tools it is time to choose the best one. We have summed up some criteria that we learned were crucial for our customers that might help you as well - Feel free to get inspired by them. 


Is the innovation management software capable of supporting your growth?

By the concept of scalability we mean the ability of the software to keep pace with your own growth. This means not only in terms of a rising number of user accounts, but also in terms of an increasing amount of stored data. Let’s clarify this by showing you an example: You decide to get a tool for your small team. After a while, your team grows and also colleagues from other departments want to use the tool to be more productive. So, you need more user accounts. More people involved also means more data to be handled with. Imagine now if your tool can’t handle the growth in time, you would lose users and data…and you know time is money ;) 

Besides the mentioned, it is also important to take a look at the development of features. Does the software provider add new features or update the application on a regular basis?   Today is a very volatile time and tools need to adjust to the current needs quite fast to remain interesting and to fulfill their users’ needs. 


Is information stored in the application safe? Does the software provider follow GDPR rules?

Security gets more and more important in todays’ time - and should also be a very sensitive criteria to focus on. Not only is it important for the software provider to stick to the GDPR rules and protect the personal data of the customers but also to protect the application from malicious attacks from the inside and outside. For that reason, the software provider should have a secure software development lifecycle (SDLC) in place where security is considered at every stage in the development of their product or service. 

Tip: Also look after tools that support Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as a defense against potential account compromises.


How well does the application adjust to internal requirements? To which degree is it customizable?

Every company has its own terminology and corporate identity. If you are not willing to get standardized and rigid software, then you should look out for more flexible tools that are highly customizable. Depending on your desired degree of customization, some applications are able to change their design, like the colors, and also the wording of input fields. 

If you invite different stakeholders to join your tool, you might also need more specified user roles than the predefined roles. This will give you more flexibility and prevent users from seeing content they are not allowed to see. For example: Imagine you are working together with external sources like startup scouts or consulting agencies to provide you with possible partners for your projects. You want them to onboard your application, but you don’t want them to see all the sensitive information your colleagues are working on. This situation requires customizable user roles, permitting you to set viewing, writing or no permissions at all to certain information.


Does the innovation management software support your decision making process? Can you see and measure the success of your activities?

It is always important to define and monitor set key performance indicators (KPIs). To help you better analyze the success of your measurements, be sure that the software does track the metrics that are important for you. These metrics could be the amount of new projects you develop with your team, or the number of engagements you have with startups of your industries. You might also extend the KPIs on external stakeholders for example to discover which of your sources do the best job to scout the latest startups in your business field. 

While searching for your new innovation management software look for those tools that support a vast number of analytic possibilities.

If you say analytics are fine, but you also want to actively evaluate and monitor innovations, ideas and/or startups. Then you might need a tool that also supports your decision making process with features that allow you to assess the innovations in a way that is right for you.


Does the tool enhance collaboration and does it motivate your team?

For a successful implementation of the tool, it is important that it is used. So, check if the software does enhance collaboration between the users. This includes the simplicity to share documents and information between the users, like an integrated chat. Furthermore, ask the question: does the tool motivate your team, for example through built-in gamification elements or the possibility to interact with each other? And is it easy to use and inclusive, so that even the person who dislikes technology does not have problems joining the team work.


Which level of support is given to you by the software provider? Is someone available as soon as you need help?

This is quite an important criteria. Before you choose a tool, check what level of support is given by the software provider and how the user onboarding process will look like. 

Maybe you have to pay for extra support, which you have to consider. 

Things are easier when you have a real customer support agent at your side who is responsible for you and your matters. Lucky those, who have never had a bad experience with an anonymous customer support hotline. 

Extra Tip: If you have found a nearly perfect innovation management application, but only a teeny tiny feature is missing, speak to the provider, maybe they do have an open API that your IT department can enlarge with missing features.


Now it's up to you to choose the right tool for your innovation management - you might start to take a closer look at our aumentoo platform


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